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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies | Pasta in Red Sauce Recipe


On days when I am not in the mood to cook an elaborate Indian meal with roti, subji, dal and chawal, pastas come to my rescue. They not only make for a filling meal, but can be made relatively faster. The recipe I am sharing today is that of penne pasta in red sauce along with some veggies. I have added just capsicum and sweetcorn, but if you are not pressed for time, you can add many more veggies - anything that catches your fancy.

I always prefer to bake my pasta for the final cooking. First I boil the pasta in water till they are just done. When the sauce is ready and I toss in the pasta, cook on stove top for a couple of minutes and then transfer it all in a casserole, top it with cheese and bake it for 15-20 minutes. I think this way flavour of the sauce seeps into the pasta making it taste great.

I am sharing this recipe under Summer Casserole Dishes Theme of Week#2 of BM#79.



Ingredients

2 cups cooked penne pasta
1½ cup fresh tomato puree
¼ cup tomato ketchup
¼ cup finely chopped onions
1 tsp garlic paste
½ cup chopped capsicum
½ cup boiled sweet corn 
Salt to taste
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dry red chilli flakes
¼ to ½ cup grated cheese

Process:

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the butter, followed by chopped onion and garlic and sauté on a medium flame for 2 minutes.
2. Add the chopped capsicum and cook it covered on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the fresh tomato puree and salt and cook it for 5-7 minutes. Stir in between.
4. When it looks a bit cooked, add tomato ketchup, oregano, chilli flakes and sugar. Stir well and cook on a medium flame for about 7 to 10 minute. The red sauce should be nice and thick by now.
5. Add the cooked pasta, boiled sweet corn and gently toss everything and cook on a medium flame for 2 more minutes. The pasta should be well coated with the sauce.

6. Transfer the pasta in a casserole that has been pre-greased with butter. Top it with grated cheese and bake it in a preheated oven at 180 C for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot. Enjoy!


Notes:

1. You can add any other veggies of choice like broccoli, mushrooms, baby-corn, etc.

BMLogo

Monday, August 14, 2017

Lebanese Beans Salad | How to make Lebanese Beans Salad | Salad Recipe



I was very much hoping that I would be able to keep up with my schedule for the blogging marathon this month. I had been taking part in it since last 2 months so that I could keep this blog running. But, this month my schedule went haywire. A little lack of planning on my part and some unexpected writing assignments that came my way kept me busy and this little space was ignored. I am going to make up for it and will be posting my recipes here now.

My chosen theme for week #1 is Lebanese cuisine and as a part of it, I had posted my version of Fattoush Salad and a recipe for Hummus (without Tahini). The third and final recipe for the 1st-week theme is 'Lebanese Beans Salad'.

It is a simple salad but is power packed with protein. Beans are extensively used in Lebanese cuisine and this salad is one of the great ways to add some veggies and beans to your diet.

Let's check the recipe now.

Lebanese Beans Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup boiled chickpeas
1 cup boiled red kidney beans
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
a handful of coriander leaves, chopped
a handful of mint leaves, chopped

for the dressing
juice of 1 lemon
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic finely crushed
salt and pepper to taste

Process:

1. Mix all the ingredients of the dressing in a bowl and whisk nicely.

2. In a large bowl add the salad ingredients and drizzle over the dressing. Shake well so that the dressing is well incorporated.

3. Cover the bowl and let it rest for at least half an hour in the refrigerator. Take it out, shake it and serve.

Notes:

1. If you are using canned beans, make sure you rinse them well with water before adding to the salad.

2. When using dried beans, soak the beans overnight and cook separately in a pressure cooker till they are thoroughly cooked but not mushy.

BMLogo

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Hummus | How to make Hummus without Tahini | Hummus Recipe

When you think Lebanese cuisine, the first dip that is likely to come to your mind is - Hummus.

The basic version of it is typically made with chickpeas, olive oil, seasonings and lemon juice. So, for my second post of BM #79 under Lebanese Cuisine, I am sharing a simple recipe for this ubiquitous dip.

Hummus is served in many ways - you can serve it as a dip with pita bread, it is also used as a spread for falafel wraps. For those who are interested in healthy snacking, you can have dollops of it with carrot sticks or cucumber pieces.

The recipe for hummus I am sharing today is without tahini. Tahini, one of the optional ingredients in hummus is actually sesame paste made with a little bit of oil. I had hummus for the first time when I was living in Dublin and to tell you the truth, I was not very delighted with its taste. For our Indian palate it seemed a little too bland - in my view, the one I had wasn't seasoned well - it could do with a little more salt and lemon juice.

In the versions I have tried at home, I use lemon juice a little too generously. Let's check out how I make the basic version of hummus.


Hummus with Carrot Sticks

Ingredients:

1½ cup chickpeas, cooked
2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Add everything in a blender jar and start churning; add water as needed to make a smooth paste.

2. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve drizzled with little olive oil and lemon juice with carrot and cucumber sticks or with some pita bread chips.

BMLogo

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Fattoush Salad | How to Make Fattoush Salad | Healthy Recipes

Last month had been an indulgent one for me foodwise. If you have checked my last month's posts, you will notice I posted mostly sweet dishes - brownies, kheer, peda. All that was part of the themes I chose to do for that month's blogging marathon.

But, the result is now seen when I stand on the bathroom scale!

Such is the life of a food blogger - I want to cook all the delicious dishes in the world, but then I have to take some steps back as ultimately I will be on the receiving end.

So, for this month, I decided I would start the blog with something really healthy. My chosen theme for the first week of BM#79 is Lebanese cuisine. And today I am posting the recipe for Fattoush Salad, albeit a customised one. I will tell you why?

Fattoush is a Lebanese bread salad - greens, veggies and toasted pita bread pieces are the main ingredients. But, I have never loved bread croutons in my salad and for that reason, I have skipped the toasted pita chips in the fattoush salad I made.

Second, the dressing typically used for this salad has two vital ingredients among others - sumac and pomegranate molasses. Sumac is tangy dried powder made from a kind of Middle Eastern red berry. Pomegranate molasses as the name says is made from pomegranate and is a commonly used ingredient in Middle eastern cooking. I didn't have both these ingredients at hand, so I made the dressing without them. I have read that these two ingredients can make a lot of difference to the salad and I will surely try them whenever I get to buy them.

I did search about making pomegranate molasses at home and there were many links that said you could make it by cooking pomegranate juice over a low heat for a long time. But, then I am really wary of cooking fruit juices. So, I dropped the idea and went ahead to make my customised Fattoush Salad.

Let's check out how I made my Fattoush Salad.

Fattoush Salad

Inspired from here
Ingredients:

4-5 Romaine Lettuce leaves washed and chopped
1 large tomato, chopped in chunks
1 small cucumber, chopped in chunks
1 small onion, sliced
a handful of mint leaves
a handful of coriander leaves, chopped
1 cup chopped pita bread pieces toasted ( I didn't use)

Dressing:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp sumac ( I didn't use)
2 tsp pomegranate molasses ( I didn't use)

Process:

1. Mix all the ingredients for the salad dressing in a bowl and whisk nicely.
2. Mix all the salad ingredients except toasted pita bread pieces.
3. Right before serving, add the dressing to the salad. Top it with pita chips (if you like) and serve immediately.

BMLogo

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